Now that Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn has been caught colluding with the government of Russia both before and after Election Day, it requires revisiting existing evidence of how Trump and his people may have been communicating with Russia. That includes the alleged private email server Trump used to communicate with Russia — which as it turns out, was also communicating with a company with personal ties to Trump’s new Secretary of Education.
What Slate Magazine reported at the time was that a group of computer scientists had concluded the network traffic between Trump Tower in New York and a Russian state-controlled bank in Moscow was consistent with that of a private email server. There has long been debate as to how provable that Slate article was, and we’ll let that debate stand on its own. But Slate also reported that the server in question was closed in nature, and that aside from the Russian bank, it was only accepting network traffic from a very small number of additional IP addresses.
One of those IP addresses belonged to a Michigan based health care provider called Spectrum Health, a detail which made no sense. Spectrum claimed that the only relevant emails it received were some random spam promoting Trump Hotels from a third party marketing company. And because there was no reason at the time to suspect that a random Midwestern health care company was involved in Russian espionage, the accusation fell by the wayside. But it turns out Spectrum Health does have connections to Donald Trump, and the dots just weren’t connectable at the time – but they are now.
According to its own website, Spectrum Health has two members of the DeVos family on its Board of Trustees. Dick DeVos, the husband of Betsy DeVos, is listed as an Emeritus Trustee. Maria DeVos is listed as the Secretary. Spectrum has even named one of its initiatives after Dick DeVos. This makes clear that Spectrum Health is at least partially controlled by the Dick and Betsy DeVos family. So where does this leave us?
Put the pieces side by side, and we now have this: scientists believe that Donald Trump had a private email server at Trump Tower in New York which was used for communication with the Russian Alfa Bank and only a small handful other specific entities – one of which was a health care company in Michigan which just happens to be under the control of the husband of Betsy DeVos, and she is now in Trump’s cabinet. The odds of that being mere coincidence are incalculable.
Spectrum Health owes us a new round of answers. Was Trump communicating with Dick and/or Betsy DeVos through Spectrum during the campaign, in the same clandestine manner as he was communicating with the Russians — and if so, why? Was DeVos communicating with the Russians through Trump’s server? Does this help explain why Trump ended up almost inexplicably nominating Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, even though she’s clearly unfit for the job?
Now that we know Trump’s advisor Michael Flynn was colluding with the Russians during the campaign, and that he went on to land a top job in the Trump administration, did Betsy DeVos land her own Trump administration job in the same manner? This is the question that must now be asked and investigated.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report